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Novice rower with the Midas touch brings Britain's first gold

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Four years after first getting in a rowing boat, Helen Glover can now boast that she is an Olympic gold medallist in the sport. Not that the modest PE teacher could quite believe her achievement.

The following day after blazing over the finish line with her partner Heather Stanning, the roar of the 30,000-strong crowd in their ears Helen laughed as she told the BBC: “I lay it beside me, beside my pillow (while I slept).”          


Heather, an Army officer who was given 18 months off to train for London 2012, told the BBC: "We only had a couple of hours sleep. We're just both buzzing; we're so excited about the whole thing."

So was the entire country. What these two did in the space of seven minutes at Eton Dorney Rowing Centre, a short distance away from Windsor Castle, was revive a nation's hopes, giving Team GB their first gold of the Games.

Its royal chateleine was not at home to hear the wall of noise that greeted their oarsome victory. But her grandsons Princes William and Harry and daughter, the Princess Royal, put their stamp on the celebrations.